Text to hubby, “Can I buy something in New Look?”
Reply, “Why are you asking me this?”
I was staring at myself in the mirror in New Look last week. I was wearing a raincoat; something I had meant to buy for ages but just not got around to. I was pretty sold. I liked it. It fit but I was pondering. Should I buy it? Should I be using this money for something else? Saving it? Anything!
Hence the text to my hubby.
Why was I asking permission?
I felt guilty.
I was on my final 3 months of maternity leave and the statutory pay had ended. I’m wasn’t earning anything and it was feeling very strange. I was used to working and at least bringing in some money home. I was quite lucky that the blog had been giving me some income but it wasn’t always consistent and I was relying on my husband more.
Money can be such a strange thing in a relationship. People vary so much on whether they share their financial information; their salary and the old dilemma: who pays on a date night? Shepherds Friendly have created an infographic on how money can impact relationships, with research from psychologist and relationship expert, Dr Becky Spelman. The results are interesting with around 11% of both men and women believing bankruptcy equals the end of a relationship!
Some of you will be reading this and wondering why on earth I felt I needed to ask my husband permission to buy anything, where others may agree with me; we are all different in how we think about money. I was off work but working hard raising his girls. We are married. We are a team. Money is shared. What’s his is mine and what’s mine is mine. I jest! Don’t get me wrong either, my hubby has never given me any indication I have to ask his permission to spend. There’s no doling out of pocket money and lectures when the credit card bill comes in.
This is entirely my issue. It’s ludicrous.
We have been married almost 5 years and together almost 10. We share everything. I realise if I had decided not to go back to work for a multitude of reasons, I would have to rely on him. I may have had no choice to not work as childcare was too expensive, or work simply could not meet with the childcare needs; drop offs and pick ups. Luckily mine and hubby’s job fits in with the girls being looked after.
I still cannot shake the guilty feeling when I buy something for myself; clothes, lunch out or that sneaky smoothie in town. Should I be buying this? It’s not “my” money. Yes, I know it is mad! Of course it is my money. I’m married!
I’m not sure where it has come from. Have I been listening to too much Destiny’s Child? Was my Mum, as a single parent having to save and look after us alone, been a strong influence and hence I feel odd when I’m not earning? I’ve always been taught to save and not live beyond my means and hubby has the same mindset too. I guess I have always been used to working and prior to being with hubby, looking after myself. Being independent. It’s really strange shifting from this mindset when you are not earning.
But it’s normal and what happens when you become a Mum and your job and career can take a back seat for a while, unless your partner takes paternity leave.
I guess there is some pressure on ladies to have it all. Work, be a Mum and look fabulous whilst doing it. Some women don’t like the idea of being “taken care off”. That’s fine but honestly that’s not what I think. I quite like the idea of it but the thought of actually me parting with money for something for me, when I’m not earning is just alien.
Am I mad or can others relate?
Would love to know your thoughts!
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
I absolutely agree and wrote along the same lines before too, but can now say after 18 months of being a SAHM since my mat pay ended its still weird. I still don’t like it! Although with being pregnant buying coffee and cake hasn’t made me feel guilty anymore – just got me through the day
I totally understand this! I feel exactly the same, but ultimately, I try and think through what we would be paying in childcare and see that as what I’m bringing to the table. It doesn’t stop those guilty thoughts sneaking in though!